Descendents - Somery (Cover Artwork)


Somery (1991)


Descendents were one of the first bands to incorporate the sounds of pop into their punk-influenced skate music, and they were arguably the best at it. Over the past 20 years, they've gone through several breakups and hiatuses, but even when they aren't recording new music together, their records are still being played constantly. The influential cloud this band cast over the punk community during the 80's (the prime years for SST) was and still is undeniable, but with the resurgence of pop-punk during the late 90's and beginning of the new millenium, having knowledge of the Descendents back catalog is more important than ever. And since a lot of new fans aren't really familiar with this band's music (some may be familiar with their side band All, who once upon a time featured Down by Law's vocalist and have recorded for nearly 15 years as well), there needs to be a set starting point for those looking to brush up on their history. And well, Somery is just that album.

Somery is the so-called 'best of' collection for the Descendents, even though the band didn't have any singles. It spans 28 tracks and runs a little under an hour and speaks as the perfect introductory piece to this wonderful and amazing band. While it is missing a bunch of their classics, it makes up for it by being the most consistent Descendents record in existence -- there isn't a drop of filler to be found on Somery. Tracks like "Silly Girl" and "My Dad Sucks" do a perfect job at starting off the record, showing this cult band at their best -- pumping out furiously fast skatepunk the way it was meant to be played. Well, almost. Descendents sing mostly about failed relationships, hating parents and school, and how society doesn't understand them, which is pretty much the same formula followed by the newest generation of pop-punkers who follow the blueprint laid down by this band right here.

The only problem with this release is that since it was released in 1991, it doesn't contain some of the band's best material. Tracks like "I'm the One" and "She Loves Me" (both from 1996's Everything Sucks are unfortunately absent), but there's no sense griping. Somery is a beautiful place to start building your Descendents collection if you haven't already, mostly because it sums up this cooky band's antics and compresses six hours worth of recorded material into less than one. After you've tackled this release, try Milo Goes to College.